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As if a Government had been a robe,
On which our vice and wretchedness were tagged
Like fancy-points and fringes, with the robe
Pulled off at pleasure. Fondly these attach
A radical causation to a few
Poor drudges of chastising Providence,
Who borrow all their hues and qualities
From our own folly and rank wickedness,
Which gave them birth and nursed them. Others,

meanwhile,
Dote with a mad idolatry; and all
Who will not fall before their images,
And yield them worship, they are enemies
Even of their country!

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Such have I been deemed But, О dear Britain ! O my Mother Isle! Needs must thou prove a name most dear and

holy To me, a son, a brother, and a friend, A husband, and a father! who revere All bonds of natural love, and find them all Within the limits of thy rocky shores. O native Britain ! O my Mother Isle ! How shouldst thou prove aught else but dear and

holy To me, who from thy lakes and mountain-hills, Thy clouds, thy quiet dales, thy rocks and seas, Have drunk in all my intellectual life, All sweet sensations, all ennobling thoughts,

All adoration of the God in nature,
All lovely and all honourable things,
Whatever makes this mortal spirit feel
The joy and greatness of its future being ?
There lives nor form nor feeling in my soul
Unborrowed from my country. O divine
And beauteous island ! thou hast been

my

sole And most magnificent temple, in the which I walk with awe, and sing my stately songs, Loving the God that made me!

May my fears, My filial fears, be vain! and may the vaunts And menace of the vengeful enemy Pass like the gust, that roared and died away In the distant tree : which heard, and only heard In this low dell, bowed not the delicate grass.

But now the gentle dew-fall sends abroad The fruit-like perfume of the golden furze : The light has left the summit of the hill, Though still a sunny gleam lies beautiful, Aslant the ivied beacon. Now farewell, Farewell, awhile, O soft and silent spot ! On the green sheep-track, up the heathy hill, Homeward I wind my way; and lo! recalled From bodings that have well nigh wearied me I find myself upon the brow, and pause Startled! And after lonely sojourning In such a quiet and surrounded nook,

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This burst of prospect, here the shadowy main,

Dim tinted, there the mighty majesty • Of that huge amphitheatre of rich

And elmy fields, seems like society
Conversing with the mind, and giving it
A livelier impulse and a dance of thought!
And now, beloved Stowey! I behold
Thy church-tower, and, methinks, the four huge

elms
Clustering, which mark the mansion of my friend;
And close behind them, hidden from my view,
Is

my own lowly cottage, where my babe And my babe's mother dwell in peace! With

light And quickened footsteps thitherward I tend, Remembering thee, O green and silent dell! And grateful, that by nature's quietness And solitary musings, all my heart Is softened, and made worthy to indulge Love, and the thoughts that yearn for human

kind.

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FIRE, FAMINE, AND SLAUGHTER.

APOLOGETIC PREFACE.

At the house of a gentleman, who, by the principles and corresponding virtues of a sincere Christian, consecrates a cultivated genius and the favourable accidents of birth, opulence, and splendid connections, it was my good fortune to meet, in a dinner-party, with more men of celebrity in science or polite literature, than are commonly found collected round the same table. In the course of conversation, one of the party reminded an illustrious poet, then present, of some verses which he had recited that morning, and which had appeared in a newspaper under the name of a War-Eclogue, in which Fire, Famine, and Slaughter were introduced as the speakers. The gentleman so addressed replied, that he was rather surprised that none of us should have noticed or leard of the poem, as it had been, at the time, a good deal talked of in Scotland. It may be easily supposed, that my feelings were at this moment not of the most comfortable kind. Of all present, one only knew, or suspected me to be the author; 'a man who would have established himself in the first rank of England's living poets, if the Genius of our country had not decreed that he should rather be the first in the first rank of its philosophers and scientific benefactors. It appeared the general wish to hear the lines. As my friend chose to remain silent, I chose to follow his example, and Mr. ***** recited the poem.

This he could do with the better grace, being known to have ever been not only a firm and active Anti-Jacobin and Anti-Gallican, but likewisea zealous admirer of Mr. Pitt, both as a good man and a great statesman. As a poet exclusively, he had been amused with the Eclogue; as a poet her ecited it; and in a sprit, which made it evident, that he would have read and repeated it with the same pleazure, had his own name been attached to the imaginary object or agent.

After the recitation, our amiable host observed, that in his opinion Mr. ***** had overrated the merits of the poetry; but had they been tenfold greater, they could not have compensated for that malignity of heart, which could alone have prompted sentiments so atrocious. I perceived that my illustrious friend became greatly distressed on my account; but fortunately I was able to preserve fortitude and presence of mind enough to take up the subject without exciting even a suspicion how nearly and painfully it interested me.

What follows, is the substance of what I then replied, but dilated and in language less colloquial. It was not my intention, I said, to justify the publication, whatever its author's feelings might have been at the time of composing it. That they are calculated to call forth so severe a reprobation from a good man, is not the worst feature of such poems. Their moral deformity is aggravated in proportion to the pleasure which they are capable of affording to vindictive, turbulent, and unprincipled readers. Could it be supposed, though for a moment, that the author seriously wished what he had thus wildly imagined, even the attempt to palliate an inhumanity so monstrous would be an insult to the hearers. But it seemed to me worthy of consideration, whether the mood of mind, and the general state of sensations, in which a poet produces such vivid and fantastic images, is likely to coexist, or is even compatible with, that gloomy and deliberate ferocity which a serious wish to realize them would presuppose. It had been often observed, and all my experience tended to confirm the observation, that prospects of pain and evil to others, and in general, all deep feelings of revenge, are commonly expressed in a few words, ironically tame, and mild. The mind under so direful and fiend-like an influence seems to take a morbid pleasure in contrasting the intensity of its wishes and feelings with the slightness or levity of the expressions by which they are hinted; and indeed feelings so intense and solitary, if they were not precluded (as in almost

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